Dodgers spoil Bochy’s going away party with a 9-0 shutout win

Photo credit: @Dodgers

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — On what was the last game of Bruce Bochys 25-year managerial career, it was not much of a game.

The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped a five spot in the first inning on their way to a 9-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants before a sellout of 41,909 at Oracle Park.

Dereck Rodriguez got the first out of the inning, but then the wheels fell off the wagon and Rodriguez, who gave up those five runs.

Max Muncy got the rally started, as he walked then A.J. Pollock and Cody Bellinger each singled and then Corey Seager cleared the bases with a double down the right field line. Will Smith then unloaded his 15th home run of the season and the game was pretty much over by then.

Rodriguez lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on five hits, walking two and striking out two before giving way to Sam Selman.

The Giants as an offense could only three hits during the entire game, as Buster Posey singled in the bottom of the first inning and the Giants did not get a hit until Jaylin Davis singled in the bottom of the eighth inning. Mike Yastrzemski got the Giants last hit in the bottom of the ninth inning with one out.

On this day, the longtime rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers was put aside, as Madison Bumgarner came out to pinch hit for Brandon Crawford in the bottom of the fifth inning and longtime rival Clayton Kershaw was on the mound in relief for the Dodgers.

In what could be his last at-bat as a Giant, Bumgarner was given a standing ovation by the sellout crowd.

Crawford told Bumgarner to hit a homer for him, but unfortunately there was no joy in San Francisco, as Bumgarner lined out to Jedd Gyorko for the final out.

After the line out to Gyorko, Bumgarner stood at the plate and admired the crowd one last time during the 2019 season.

In an act of total sportsmanship and respect, Kershaw then tipped his cap towards Bochy, who reciprocated in doing the same towards Kershaw.

He is a class act, said Posey about Kershaw.

Gavin Lux drove in the Dodgers sixth run of the game in the top of the seventh, as he walked with the bases loaded to score Matt Beaty.

The Dodgers added three runs in the top of the eighth inning to put the final touches on their team record 106th victory of the season.

UP NEXT: There will be a new manager in 2020 for the Giants when the team begins Spring Training in February.

Giants fall victim to Dodgers in 9-2 loss

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By Lewis Rubman

Los Angeles: 9 | 9 | 2

San Francisco: 2 | 8 | 0

SAN FRANCISCO — The first order of business for the Giants this evening was the presentation of the Willie Mac Award to Kevin Pillar as the Giants player who best exemplifies the inspiration, character, and leadership that characterized Willie McCovey. It was the first time since his death that the award that honors his legacy had been bestowed. It’s not a stretch to say that his absence added a large dose of poignancy to the ceremony.

This was the third time that the Dodgers sent Walker Buehler (13-4, 3.25 ERA) to the mound against the Giants this season. He was the winner of a 10-3 thrashing of San Francisco at Oracle Park on April 30, giving up all of the Giants’ runs in his five and a third innings of work. He returned to McCovey Cove on June 9 to shut the Giants down without a run over seven innings on the way to a 1-0 white wash of the home team.

Johnny Cueto, the Giants’ starter, was facing the Dodgers for the first time this season, but it was the 21st time he pitched against them over his 13-year major league career. In his three starts since coming off the injured list on September 10, he had gone 1-1, 2.57 ERA. He looked good but hadn’t gone over four innings in any of those starts. He didn’t make it past two tonight.

If Cueto sparkled in his 1-2-3 first, he lost all of his luster in the second. Cody Bellinger and Corey Seger hit back to back homers to right center to open the frame. The Dodger bats paused for a moment while Will Smith walked, but he broke into a full-fledged run scoring on Gavin Lux’s triple off the right field fence. Cueto fanned Kike Hernández and Buehler, but Joc Pederson socked another dinger into the upper rows of the right center field seats for Los Angeles’s fourth and fifth tallies of the inning. You needn’t bother to look for Cueto’s line for the night; this paragraph tells you all you need to know about his performance.

The Giants got one run back in the bottom of the second. Pillar walked and advanced to third on Alex Dickerson’s single to center. Crawford’s sac fly to left drove him in, and when Dubón singled to right, it looked like the Giants might make a serious comeback. But Chris Shaw, batting for Cueto, and then Mike Yaztremski struck out.

Wandy Peralta took over for Cueto to start the third. With a little help from a pitcher’s best friend he held the visitors to one infield hit in that frame. He would pitch a 1-2-3 fourth before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of that inning.

Meanwhile, the Giants had drawn closer in the bottom of the third. Another sacrifice fly, Pillar’s shot to right, enabled Brandon Belt, who had walked and reached third on Vogt’s double to right, to score the Giants’ second run, getting home before catcher Will Smith could tag him out. Pederson’s throw was right on the money, but a mite too slow in arriving.

Peralta held Los Angeles through fourth, giving way to a pinch-hitter in the bottom half of that inning and being followed on the rubber by Sam Selman, another southpaw.

Buehler pitcched in and out of trouble until the Giants’ sixth, when he was relieved by Dylan Floro, who got Dubón out on a fly to right before yielding to Caleb Ferguson. Ferguson struck out the pinch hitting Cristhian Adames before surrendering a two out double to left to Yaztremski. He went to three and two on Belt before walking him. That was it for Ferguson, and it was up to Yimi García to face Evan Longoria, who represented the tying run. He got the Giants’ third baseman to ground to Muncy at first but then dropped the throw that would have ended the inning. Now Garcia had to face Stephen Vogt with the bases loaded. Vogt flew out to right.

Buehler’s line was two runs, both earned, on five hits and four walks. He struck out eight in his five innings of work, in which he threw 104 pitches, 67 of them strikes.

Kyle Barraclough, San Francisco’s newest entry in tonight’s mound sweepstakes, struck out Hernández and walked Edwin Ríos, batting for García. In came Andrew Suárez to pitcher for San Francisco. In came David Freese to bat for Pederson. He hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but the Giants still trailed 5-2.

Casey Sadler was the next in the long line of Dodger relievers. He, too, dodged a bullet when Lux made a leaping catch of a liner hit into the shift by Jaylin Davis, pinch hitting (naturally) with two outs and two on in the seventh.

The Giants’ bullpen had held Los Angeles scoreless for five innings when, with Shaun Anderson on the mound, a double by Chris Taylor, a conceded walk to Bellinger, and a fielder’s choice on a grounder by Seager into the shift to Crawford, whose behind the back flip to Dubón went astray loaded the bases with one out. Will Smith’s single to left center then drove in Taylor and Bellinger, to up the Angelinos’ advantage to 7-2. Hernández drove in Seager and Smith. It was now 9-2 and all over but the shouting.

The Giants made a quixotic attempt to make a game of it in the eighth, loading the bases with two out, but Tony Gonsolin got Dickerson to fly out to center.

The Giants used seven pitchers in their vain attempt to stifle the Dodgers’ offense. Los Angeles also used seven but to much better effect.

Buehler got the win; Cueto, the loss. There was no save. The Giants left 17 men on base.

It will be Hyun-Jin Ryu against Logan Webb tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. and Rich Hill facing Madison Bumgarner at 12:05 p.m. to finish the season on Sunday. After that game, there will be a major celebration to honor Bruce Bochy on his retirement.

Cueto looks dominant in season debut, Giants get past Pirates 5-4

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By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — After missing over a year after Tommy John Surgery, Johnny Cueto looked phenomenal in his season debut.

Cueto went the required five innings, allowing just one hit, walking just and striking out four and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 before a crowd of 26,877 at Oracle Park.

With the one-run victory, the Giants are now 34-15 this season in one-run games and their .694 winning percentage is the best in the majors.

The Giants gave Cueto all the runs that he would need in the bottom of the first inning, as Mauricio Dubon singled to lead off the inning, Brandon Belt doubled Dubon to third and after an Evan Longoria strikeout, Stephen Vogt singled both Dubon and Belt for the first two of his four RBIs on the evening.

Kevin Pillar then singled and then Brandon Crawford squirted one thru the infield to score Vogt with the third run of the evening.

Vogt added a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he hit his ninth home run of the season.

The Pirates, who could not muster anything off of Cueto, finally got in the top of the eighth inning with two outs. Kevin Newman got the rally started, then former Giants farmhand Bryan Reynolds singled, and then former Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera doubled down the right-field line to get the Pirates on the board.

Josh Bell then cut the Giants lead down to one, as he launched his 37th home run of the season into the left field bleachers.

Mitch Keller also went five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, not walking a batter and striking out seven.

Shawn Anderson pitched the final 1.1 innings to notch his first major-league save and his first since pitching for the University of Florida.

NOTES: To make room for Cueto on the 40-man roster, Williams Jerez was designated for assignment.

Cueto is the 62nd different Giants player to suit up this season, the most in the National League and second most in the majors, behind the 63 that put on the uniform of the Seattle Mariners.

The 62 players are the most in Giants history and currently tied for the fourth-most in major league history.

Prior to this season, the Giants’ record for most players in a season was 51 set during the 1990 season.

Bruce Bochy won his 1,996th career game, leaving four shy of the magical 2,000 mark.

Pirates reliever and former Giants pitcher Kyle Crick underwent surgery on the index finger on his right hand as the result of an injury that occurred during an altercation with Felipe Vázquez in the clubhouse.

The behavior exhibited by these two players last night is unacceptable, inconsistent with the standards expected of a Major-League player and will not be tolerated by the organization,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

Thin Bullpen: Giants wilt in the ninth, Pirates win 6-4 in front of smallest crowd since 2010

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO — Kevin Newman maybe auditioning for a role as the Pirates’ leadoff man, but he maybe better suited as the team’s focal point.

Newman knocked in a pair of runs in a four-run ninth inning and the Pirates shocked the Giants 6-4 on Monday night. The Pirates improved to 11-5 in the games the speedy, powerful Newman has batted leadoff.

The Giants started Madison Bumgarner, who was attempting to win for the 61st time at Oracle Park, surpassing former teammate Matt Cain as the winningest pitcher in the park’s history. Bumgarner was in line for the win after allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings, but the Giants’ injury-ravaged bullpen let him down.

With relievers Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson and closer Will Smith unavailable due to injuries, manager Bruce Bochy stuck with Tyler Rogers, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning. But Rogers allowed Kevin Kramer to reach on an infield single, and was replaced by Fernando Abad after just one pitch in the inning.

Abad walked Josh Bell, and gave up Elias Diaz’ lengthy drive to the left field gap that one-hopped the wall. But the smash registered as just a base hit when Mike Yasztremski fielded the ball cleanly and appeared to have a catch to the Pirates’ baserunners. Both Kramer and Bell retreated as Diaz advanced almost creating an out-making logjam on the basepaths, but the Pirates were still set up with bases loaded and Newman up.

Newman delivered to tie it, the first time the Pirates had been even since the fifth inning. Kevin Reynolds’ base hit untied it, and Jose Osuna provided insurance with his sacrifice fly that scored Newman.

“Too bad we couldn’t hold on to give him a win,” Bochy said of Bumgarner, his strong outing squandered.  “You look at his body of work; he’s been a savior. Guys who give you innings like that are invaluable. Not just innings but quality innings.”

The Giants fell to 30-39 at home–the third worst record in the National League–after losing for the sixth time in their last seven home games. Meanwhile, the youth-infused Pirates have won 11 of 17 after being dreadful for almost all of July and August.

Newman and Reynolds, the former Giants minor leaguer acquired in the Andrew McCutchen deal, have been a big part of the recent surge.

“I think the combination of the two has them getting the results they’ve been getting,” said manager Clint Hurdle.

Giants fall to Padres 5-3

Photo credit: @Padres

By Lewis Rubman

San Diego: 5 | 8 | 0

San Francisco: 3 | 8 | 0

SAN FRANCISCO — The 65-67 Giants opened a four-game series at Oracle Park hoping to inch back to the .500 mark against the lackluster Padres.

San Diego sent rookie Chris Paddack, arguably their best starter, to the mound. Paddack’s traditional statistics, 7-7, 3.84 ERA were mediocre enough, but so was his team’s won and lost record of 61-71, which put them in fourth place in the five team NL West Division. And Paddack has some eye-catching advanced statistics. Going into the game, he could boast of a WHIP of 1.03 and had struck out 121 batters in 117 1/3 innings, while walking only 27, all the while holding opposing batters to a measly on OPS of .668. The tall righty throws the traditional pitchers’ repertoire of fast ball, curve ball, and change of pace, the first and last more frequently than the curve. He hadn’t much of a chance to display his talents in his previous start, a disaster in which he surrendered six runs to the Red Sox in 2 1/3 innings. He sure showed them tonight.

Giants starter, Dereck Rodríguez, toed the rubber, dragging a record of 5-6, 5.26 ERA behind him but still, I assume, hoping to regain the form that had made him so exciting in his rookie 2018 season. D-Rod’s pitching in the opening frame gave the Giants’ rookie second baseman, Mauricio Dubón, making his major league debut, a chance to strut his defensive stuff as the two combined to turn a nifty 1-4-3 double play on Manny Machado to close out the inning. In the Pads’ next turn at bat, Dubón was even more impressive, robbing Wil Myers of a single with a diving grab of the San Diego right fielder’s shot behind second base and a bullet-like throw to first. Mike Yaztremski then stole a single from Luis Urías with another diving catch, this one of a sinking liner to short right.

Rodríguez’s stretch of being saved by brilliant fielding came to an end in the top of the third. With one out, Paddack sent a slow hopper to short that he would have beaten out even if Brandon Crawford could have handled it cleanly, which he didn’t. Then Manuel Margot launched a 2-0 four seamer into the left center field bleachers, and the Giants were looking up at a two-run San Diego lead. Doubles by Josh Naylor and Eric Hosmer to left and right center, respectively stretched the deficit to three.

Yaztremski came close to committing larceny a second time when he dove for Urías’s falling fly just in front of the 309 foot sign and just inside the right field foul line. The result was Urías’s first career triple and the prelude to Austin Hedges’ home run to left, his 10th of the season, upping the Padres’ lead to 5-0.

The worm finally turned a tiny bit against Paddack in the home fourth. After Yaztremski led off by striking out, making it 10 consecutive Giants that Paddack had dispatched since he threw his first pitch of the game, Brandon Belt blasted a change up into McCovey Cove, and the Giants were on the board. That’s only a figure of speech; the main scoreboard showed lots of pictures but no in- game statistics until a Wil Myers thumb nail made a cameo appearance in the top of the ninth.

Dubón laced his first hit in the bottom of the fifth, a one-out single to right that sent Kevin Pillar from first to third. But Rodríguez struck out and Yaztremski flew out to left, leaving the Padres still ahead 5-1 after five innings of play. Those five innings were enough for Rodríguez, who was removed and replaced by Jandel Gustave at the start of the sixth. Rodríguez had thrown 72 pitches (49 strikes). All five of the runs allowed were earned, and they came on eight hits. He struck out three batters and yielded no walks, a slight consolation. Gustave followed him with two innings of perfect relief before giving way to the veteran Fernando Abad for the eighth. He, too, hurled a perfect frame.

After pitching seven outstanding innings, in which he threw 92 pitches (67 strikes) and surrendered only one run (earned) on five hits and no walks while striking out eight, Paddack was replaced by lefty Matt Strahm.

Strahm’s work was not outstanding, but it was serviceable. He gave up singles to pinch hitters Donovan and Joey Richard and a walk to Belt to load thee bases with nobody out. Bu then he induced Evan Longoria to hit into a run scoring 5-4-3 double play and got Alex Dickerson out on a fly ball to Manuel Margot in left center.

Sam Coonrod retired the Friars on two called strike outs interspersed by a hit batter, Myers, who promptly was thrown out stealing.

It was left to Andrés Muñoz to defend San Diego’s 5-2 lead in the ninth. He struck Posey out on a full count. Then he K’d Pilar. Crawford walked on a 3-2, 99 mph four-seamer and advanced to second on a wild pitch with Stephen Vogt, pinch-hitting for Coonrod, at-bat. Vogt brought Crawford home on a double to right, closing the scoring gap to 5-3. But Donovan grounded out to short to end the game. Muñoz broke 100 mph several times in his inning of relief.

Paddack got the well-deserved win and Muñoz, the exciting save. The loss went to Rodríguez. None of the Giants’ relievers allowed a run.

At 65-68, San Francisco is seven games behind in the race to be the second wild card team. Their elimination number is 23.

The probable starters for Friday night’s contest will be right-hander Dinelson Lamet (2-2, 4.30 ERA) for San Diego with left-hander Madison Bumgarner (8-8, 3.71 ERA) going for the home team.

A’s thwart Giants 9-5, split Bay Bridge Series

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s, behind a superb performance by Homer Bailey, downed the San Francisco Giants 9-5. Bailey went seven innings and allowed two hits. He walked one and struck out seven to earn his tenth win of the season. The Giants starter Tyler Beede took the loss.

The A’s were in cruise control for most of the game. Bailey left the game with a 7-0 lead, and it appeared the A’s were going to coast to an easy victory. However, the Giants weren’t ready to roll over. They scorched the A’s for five runs in the bottom of the eighth. A’s relievers Joakim Soria, and Yusmeiro Petit did not do well. A’s manager Bob Melvin had to bring in his closer, Liam Hendriks, to get the final four outs of the game. Hendriks rose to meet the challenge.

The A’s Matt Chapman hit a solo home run with two out in the top of the first to give Oakland an early 1-0 lead midway through the inning.

The A’s added a run in the second. Stephen Piscotty received a free pass to first when he worked Tyler Beede for a walk. He went to second on a ground out by Corban Joseph. Joseph was making his first start since being called up from Tripe-A Las Vegas. A’s catcher Chris Herrman ground out the first baseman to the pitcher. Piscotty went to third on the play. Homer Bailey reached on an infield single. Piscotty scored and the A’s lead 2-0.

The A’s plated two more in the third. Robbie Grossman led off with a double to left. Beede hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to put two men on with no out. A’s first baseman Matt Olson then lined a double off the right-field wall to drive in Grossman and Chapman. The A’ lead 4-0.

The A’s scored two more in the sixth. A’s catcher led off with a single. Giants’ lefty reliever Travis Bergen retired Bailey and Semien for the first two outs of the inning. Robie Grossman, batting from the right side, blasted his sixth home run of the season into the seats in left field. The A’s have a commanding 6-0 lead.

The A’s added another run in the top of the eighth. With two out, Khris Davis, pinch-hitting for Homer Bailey, walked. Marcus Semien drove in Davis with a blast that went into the triangle known as “Triples Alley.” Grossman struck out to end the inning. The A’s lead 7-0. The Giants finally put some runs on the board in their half of the inning. They sent nine men to the plate and put five on the board. Bob Melvin brought in Joakim Soria to start the eighth. Soria did not have it as he gave up a single to Brandon Crawford and walked Austin Slater. Crawford went to third on a flyout to right. He then scored the Giants first run on a wild pitch. Slater went to second. Another wild pitch sent SLater to third. Soria walked Brandon Belt. Mike Yastrzemski blasted his 13th bomb of the season to make it 7-4. Melvin brought in Yusmeiro Petit to pitch. Evan Longoria singled, and Stephen Vogt doubled to put men on at second and third with one out. Alex Dickerson, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, grounded out and that allowed Longoria to cross the plate with the fifth run of the inning. Bob Melvin replaced Petit with Liam Hendriks. Hendriks struck out Kevin Pillar for the final out. The Giants trail the A’s 7-5 after eight.

The AS’s added two insurance runs in the ninth. Matt Chapman led off the inning with his second home run of the game. For Chappie, it was his 27th of the season. With one out, Mark Canha singled and went to third on Piscotty’s single. Corban Joseph drove in Canha with a sacrifice fly to center. The Giants failed to score in their half of the ninth. The A’s win 9-5.

Game Notes- The A’s are now 68-52 for the year. They picked up a game on the Tampa Bay Rays as the Rays lost to the San Diego Padres 7-2 on Wednesday. The A’s trail the Rays by two games in the race for the second Wild Card.

Homer Bailey owns an ERA of 1.20 in his last five starts against the Giants.  In nine career starts against the Giants, he is 5-0 and has an ERA of 3.15. He also drove in a run, and it was his first since June 8th, 2014 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. He also had two hits in the game.

Matt Chapman recorded his third career multi-homer game with two home runs on Wednesday.  Robbie Grossman had his first homer since June 18th at Baltimore. Corban Joseph had his first hit since September 28th, 2018 when he was with Baltimore.

The A’s are 11-7 in interleague play this season and have not lost a series to the Giants since 2015.

Giants notes- Mike Yastrzemski hit his 13th homer of the year with a three-run blast in the eighth. He became the second Giants rookie since 2010 to hit 13 or more homers in a season. Buster Posey was the other in 2010. His 41 RBIs are second-most among NL rookies. The Mets’ Pete Alonso leads with 42. Kevin Pillar was 2-for-four on Wednesday, and he extended his hitting streak to eight games.

The A’s return home to face the AL West leaders, the Houston Astros, Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Mike Fiers will go for Oakland, and Aaron Sanchez will be on the hill for Houston.

The game will start at 7:07 Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum

Giants nip A’s 3-2, take Game 1 of Bay Bridge Series

Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

SAN FRANCISCO–The Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants played a very entertaining game Tuesday night in the Battle of the Bay. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner was on the top of his game as he went seven innings and allowed just two hits. The only mistake he made was a gopher ball to Stephen Piscotty in the fifth inning. Bumgarner looked like he has regained the form that made him an All-Star. The A’s starter lefty Brett Anderson pitched well enough to win. He went six innings and allowed two runs and six hits. The Giants had to hang on in the ninth as the A’s scored a run and left the bases loaded as they fell 3-2 to the Giants at Oracle Park.

Both teams played well, and the outcome was in doubt right up to the last out in the ninth. Both teams are in the hunt for a playoff berth, and it felt like it was a playoff game. The Giants evened their record at 60-60, and the A’s fell to 67-52

The A’s drew first blood in the top of the fifth. Madison Bumgarner, who gave up a bloop single to Marcus Semien to start the game, had retired 14 in a row before Stephen Piscotty unloaded his 12th dinger of the year to give the A’s the lead 1-0 midway through the fifth. The Giants failed to score in the bottom of the fifth.

The Giants broke through in the bottom of the second to score two runs. With two out, Anderson gave up three consecutive double to Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, and Kevin Pillar. The Giants lead 2-1 heading into the seventh.

The A’s went down in order in the seventh. A’s manager Bob Melvin, brought in left Jake Diekman to pitch. Anderson’s line was six innings pitched, and he allowed six hits and two runs. The Giants scored a run without the benefit of a hit. Diekman walked Aramis Garcia and Brandon Crawford to start the frame. Bumgarner laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Garcia scored when pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett hit a sacrifice fly to center. A’s centerfielder Mark Canha made a sensational catch to rob Joey Rickard to end the inning. The Giants lead 3-1 after seven.

In the top of the ninth, the A’s loaded the bases with one out. Giants reliever Will Smith struck out Matt Olson for the second out, With the crowd on their feet and screaming, Smith walked Canha to force in a run. The A’s now trail 3-2. Smith struck out Chad Pinder to end the game.

Game Notes: The A’s Brett Anderson dropped to 10-8 for the year, and the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner improved to 8-7. Bumgarner has looked like the pitcher of old in his last ten starts. Will Smith earned is 29th save of the season. The Giants are 46-6 when Smith appears in a game.

Up Next: The A’s will conclude the two-game set with the Giants on Wednesday. Homer Bailey will go for Oakland, and Tyler Beede will be on the hill for the Giants. Game time is at 12:30 pm.

MadBum stifles Phillies 5-0

Photo credit: @McCoveyChron

By Jeremy Harness

SAN FRANCISCO — After three straight days of famine at the plate in front of their faithful home fans, the Giants on Thursday returned to the feast that had been their calling card during their major resurgence following the All-Star break.

The bats were shut down by the Washington Nationals, but they bounced back in a big way against a pitcher who had entered the game on a real hot streak. Starter Aaron Nola (10-3) had entered the game having only given up two runs over his last three road starts, but the Giants capitalized on a third-inning rally to down the Phillies, 5-0, at Oracle Park.

Equally remarkable was Giants starter Madison Bumgarner (7-7), who blanked the Phillies’ bats with seven shutout innings and gave up only one hit in the process while striking out three, which would qualify as his best outing of the season.

His contributions were not limited to what he did on the mound, either. He also got a key hit in the third inning to help ignite the rally that would push the Giants ahead as well as drawing a pair of walks.

“He did it all tonight,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I felt good about him going tonight, because he’s so good at figuring things out when it doesn’t go well. He put in a lot of work in between starts, to get where he needs to be.”

Upon taking over for Bumgarner, the bullpen kept Philly off the scoreboard, as Trevor Gott and closer Will Smith, who picked up his 28th save of the season on Thursday with a perfect ninth, combined to surrender only a walk.

After two quiet innings, the Giants broke through in the third off Nola. Brandon Crawford and Bumgarner started the inning with back-to-back hits before Brandon Belt drove Crawford in with a single to break the scoreless tie.

Mike Yastrzemski went the other way and carried it all the way to the left-field wall, and when Jay Bruce couldn’t play the carom off the wall, Bumgarner and Belt were able to score rather easily, and the Giants had a 3-0 lead.

Bumgarner lost his no-hitter in the sixth, when Cesar Hernandez pinch-hit for Nola and promptly ripped a single up the middle.

With two out in the sixth, the Giants – particularly Kevin Pillar – took advantage of a pair of Philly mistakes to tack on another run. Pillar reached base on a fielder’s choice, and as he stole second, he forced a bad throw from catcher Andrew Knapp that sailed into center field and allowed him to scoot on to third.

After he walked Crawford, reliever Nick Pivetta uncorked a wild pitch that rolled to the backstop, which Pillar used to scamper to the plate and give the Giants a 4-0 advantage. Yastrzemski added to that lead with one mighty swing of the bat, pulverizing a Pivetta fastball and sending it into the arcade in right-center for a solo homer.

“You pull for these guys (like Yastrzemski),” Bochy said. “He spent a lot of time in the minor leagues, and finally gets called up, and he hasn’t been in awe of anything.

“He’s been like that since Day 1. He’s just a nice all-around player.”

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants have the confidence and wild card in sights, but will they deal MadBum and Smith? photo: San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner works against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 18, 2019, in San Francisco.

On the SF Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 San Francisco Giants centerfielder Kevin Pillar said that the team has confidence and belief, which would also be a good argument to keep pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith.

#2 The Giants so far have hit more home runs than at home at Oracle Park and average 5.5 runs on the road to 3.4 runs at home per game.

#3 The Giants are four games over .500 at 27-23 on the road. What best explains why their doing better on the road compared to at home?

#4 Manager Bruce Bochy managed the club a 6-1 road trip in Milwaukee and Colorado. The Giants in a four-game series with the New York Mets where they played to a 16 inning win over the Mets 3-2 on a walkoff single by a Donovan Solano to drive in the winning run.

#5 Hall of Famers Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Lee Smith. All will be inducted for this year’s class for the 2019 Hall of Fame. Once again, home run king Barry Bonds failed to get elected by getting 59.1% of the vote.

Michael does the Giants podcasts each Friday at

Giants extend streak in marathon vs. Mets

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By Jeremy Harness

SAN FRANCISCO – Madison Bumgarner threw what should have been a complete-game statement win, giving up only one run on five hits and stifling a Mets team that rolled into Oracle Park riding a four-game winning streak.

Because the Giants couldn’t figure out how to get a guy home from third with nobody out – twice, mind you – it went into the books as a nine-inning no-decision as his offense let him down once more.

The Giants turned the tables on the Mets in the top of the 10th, when New York put runners on second and third on reliever Will Smith with nobody out. The lefty then put the brakes on the Mets’ rally, striking out the side to keep the game tied at 1-1.

The bats eventually turned around for the Giants, as they sent what was left of the crowd at Oracle Park home happy after Donovan Solano’s single drove in the winning run in a 3-2 win to extend their winning streak to six games.

Bumgarner’s night didn’t get off to the best of starts, as Jeff McNeil drove his first pitch into the left-center gap for a double, with J.D Davis following that right up with a hard single to left, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.

He got out of the inning with minimal damage, although McNeil ended up scoring after Bumgarner induced Pete Alonso into a double play, giving New York a 1-0 lead.

The Giants had their first crack at getting that elusive runner home from third in the second, when Alex Dickerson led off by launching one into the deepest part of the ballpark – a place called Triples Alley located in the gap in right-center – and wound up with a stand-up triple. After Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski both struck out, Kevin Pillar popped out to end the inning and blow the chance.

The next shot came in the fourth, as they put together a rally that saw them load the bases with one out. This time, the Giants cashed in, as Pillar lined one into left field, which Davis had to leap to make the catch and save and extra-base hit.

As it stood, Pablo Sandoval, who had led off the inning with a single, tagged up easily from third to tie the game.

The Giants have been especially adept at getting extra-base hits, and they used that to their advantage again in the seventh, as Yastrzemski led off with a triple.

Once again, however, lack of situational hitting on the Giants’ part let them down and kept the game tied. Pillar put the ball on the ground, but he hit it hard and right at third base, forcing Yastrzemski to stay put. The Mets then intentionally walked Joe Panik before Bumgarner – for whom the Giants faithful were on its collective feet in anticipation of his breaking the 1-1 tie – struck out and Brandon Belt flied out.